This past summer my family took a camping trip to Custer State Park, South Dakota. We absolutely loved it! There were a lot of days with moody rain clouds like above, which were fun to photograph. There was so much to see and do we were always busy. What a beautiful area. I look forward to going back again sometime.
Winter here in Minnesota can be long and dreary. I often struggle with finding a reason to pickup the camera during these cold months. Even though it can be beautiful, I find it difficult to get excited about going out into the cold, wet weather. I try to brainstorm a list of subjects I can still photograph through this long season to keep my creative juices flowing, and thought I would share some in case you struggle with this as well.
Remember to keep yourself warm and dry, as well as your camera. Several layers of clothes, hand/feet warmers, and thin gloves with touchscreen tips for shooting (with a warmer pair over to keep your fingers warm when not using your camera) will help you stay comfortable. For your camera use a rain cover to keep it dry, carry extra batteries close to your body since they will drain quickly, and stow your camera in a sealable plastic bag or camera bag before taking it indoors (including a warm vehicle) to avoid condensation, and give it time to warm to room temperature before removing it.
Fall color along the Kettle River. Don't feel you need to photograph wide angle for fall color. put on your telephoto and get an intimate shot of the landscape. This was shot with a focal length of 232mm.
The last and final technique I will talk about is shooting through. By doing this you will create this veil of soft color around your subject. Whatever you are shooting through will determine the veil of color in your image, so keep this in mind when choosing what to shoot through. This can really simplify your image by hiding a busy scene that is surrounding your subject.
If you enjoyed this series and would like to learn more I will be releasing an ebook version later this winter. Enjoy creating beautiful images of flowers and flora!
This blooming shrub was very busy, so to simplify it I shot through some of the foliage to create that soft blur and hide some of the details.
The next technique we are discussing is great for adding a painterly look to your images, and it can be used with just about any type of nature or landscape, not just flowers. The idea is to use a slow shutter speed to create a small amount of blur. There are two ways to do this.
Try this effect on fall color. This is a tree in my yard that I photographed on a windy day when it was at peak color.
Today let's have some fun with multiple exposures. This is very similar to the double exposure technique, except there will be three or more images and you will keep them all in focus. This technique works really well when there is a lot of small colorful flowers. With each image you rotate or move the camera a bit in a certain direction to create a swirl or trail of flowers. Then combine them in software (or in camera if yours allows it). You can also defocus your last image to add that dreamy look as well. You can create some fun designs with this technique, so experiment and try different things. No two images will look the same!
This is not just for flowers, you can do this technique with other subjects as well.
Today let's talk about another fun and creative way to photograph flowers. Double exposure is a great way to add a soft glow to colorful flowers. I typically use this technique when color is what drew my attention since it will typically soften any details. The idea is to get one image in focus and one out of focus and combine them to create an image with a soft glowing effect. Experiment to see just how much blur you prefer!
This bleeding heart looked good sharp, but I loved the dreamy look that a double exposure added to it.
I hope you are enjoying this series. Today I will talk about painterly backgrounds. I love photographing my flowers with a soft painterly background. To do this you want to create background blur. Before you start you will want to view your subject from different angles to find what background looks best. For instance, if there is a patch of yellow flowers near your subject, you may want to use that to create a beautiful yellow painterly background to compliment the flower you are photographing. Sometimes all it takes is raising or lowering the camera a bit.
Insects can be a fun addition to your flower photography!
I hope you were able to get out and try some close up flower photography after my last post! Today I will be talking about wide angle macro photography. This is a fun way to shoot if there is a large group of flowers, or if there is something in the background that you would like to include. It helps tell a story about the environment surrounding the flower. For this technique you will want to use a wide lens such as 35mm or wider.
This rudbeckia looked like it was twirling, and I wanted to show that it was in a field with other flowers. I used a 35mm lens close up with a wide aperture. This helped show it's environment without distracting from the main subject, the stretched out petal. Grab your wide angle lens and experiment!
One of my favorite subjects to photograph is flowers. There are so many different kinds that vary in size, shape, color, and texture. I feel like each flower has its own personality. Another great thing about flowers is you can photograph them almost anytime and anywhere, from garden flowers to wild flowers to store bought flowers. You can even photograph them inside during winter months! So I am going to share with you the many different ways I like to photograph flowers in a 7 part series of posts. At the end of the series you will have the chance to purchase my ebook which will include even more information, images, tips and techniques.
Let's start off with the fun of macro or close up flower photography.
I typically will photograph my flower close ups in one of two ways. One way is to shoot with a deep depth of field and try to keep everything in focus. I often use this when shooting the intricate center of certain flowers. Another way which is what I do most often, is to use selective focus to highlight one specific part of the flower and leave the rest a smooth blur.
With this flower I had the bonus of a grasshopper!